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Old 08-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Just bought Rena Filstar XP3 - How do you stack your media?

I just got a great deal on a Rena Filstar XP3 from PetSmart, $139.99 with discount online. I am going to use it on my 115G cichlid tank. I am just curious how others that have the same filter stack the media in it. Also I assume that I should keep running the HOB filters until the bacteria gets built up in the canister? Thanks for any advise.
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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We just run biomedia in the top compartment, fine sponges in the middle, and course in the lower. Yes, leave your HOBs running (or move all the biomedia from them into the XP). Great pickup, I think you'll be happy with it. I love the XPs! We're running 4 and have never had an issue.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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Thanks HN1, was looking at the Eheims but couldnt pass up this deal!
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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I have an XP3 and an XP2 (on 2 different tanks). I put the coarse and fine filter pads in the bottom, bio balls in the middle (nothing on top of them), and filter floss and sponges in the top (FF is on top of sponges). XP2 has filter pads, sponges and filter floss and no bioballs (I think).
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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I have 2 XP3's and an XP2 myself. I have mine set with the coarsest sponge at the bottom, and the medium sponge in the middle, then I have ceramic rings and lava rock in the top basket.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:10 AM   #6
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really depends on what you are running. i sent mine up in a planted tank with the 4 sponges that come in it with floss in the others. many others run it sponge bio media floss carbon or double sponges. just have to figure out what you need in your tank and do whats best for that.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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I am putting it in my cichlid tank this weekend. I currently have 2 biowheel hob's running on it right now. I also have a bunch more rock to put in the tank at the same time that I am hooking up the filter. Since the HOB's take up space on the back of the tank, I was going to drain alot of the water, take off the HOB's, move the tank closer to the wall, move the media from the HOB's to the XP3 (thinking here is that the bacteria will move from the media to the ceramic rings that I am putting in the canister), put in the extra rock and refill the tank with dechlored water. All that is in the tank is PFS, rocks, fake plants and 19 cichlids. Will this be sufficient to start the bacteria in the canister? Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:47 AM   #8
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i would let both run a couple weeks. then pull one hob off then the other. in that tank i would prob do the sponges and 2 layers of bio media. though it would be a good thing to keep one of the hobs as a back up on the tank if not both. i really wouldnt run the xp3 on a 115 tank alone. they over rate the filters.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:54 AM   #9
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Thanks gamer. Considered leaving them on and just keeping floss in them for water polishing. Sound like an idea?
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:57 AM   #10
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at least one of them. i would keep another one with sponges and bio media to be moved over to a QT or if you are setting up a new tank. having a extra cycled filter is priceless.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:01 AM   #11
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I have two extras running on my 84 gallon for the qt or new tank already, so I dont need that. Also not sure if I will have room on the back of the 115 for both HOB's since this is only a 5' long tank and the spray bar for the xp3 will tank up about half that wont it?
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:21 AM   #12
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i have the spray bar in my 120 on the side blowing to the other end of the tank.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:59 AM   #13
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I have two extras running on my 84 gallon for the qt or new tank already, so I dont need that. Also not sure if I will have room on the back of the 115 for both HOB's since this is only a 5' long tank and the spray bar for the xp3 will tank up about half that wont it?
I have an xp3 for my 55 gallon. The tank is only 4 feet long and the spray bar doesnt even reach half-way across the back of the tank. What kind of HOB's are you using? Ive got a Hagen Aquaclear 50 on the back of the tank as well and still have room for the spare Aquaclear 20 if I wanted. Unless your using a Penguin 350 or an Emperor 400 I really doubt you will have a lack of space for all the filters.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:07 AM   #14
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I am running 2 biowheel filters (I believe they are 330 or 350). I am at work right now, so I will have to check when I get home. They have 2 biowheels that are about 4" long and the intake in the middle with 2 of the blue carbon filled changable elements. So, Gamer, you are saying that you have the output mounted vertically and have it pushing water accross the back of the tank instead of across the top of the water?
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:27 AM   #15
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I thought you were going with the Eheim, Ohhhhh the pain!
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #16
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Sorry Inferno, got a good deal on the XP3 and couldnt pass it up. We'll see what happens when I get the canister for the 84G. I have to say though, if the GPH are accurate on the eheim and the Rena, the Rena has much higher flow rate for the same size rated tank. Who knows how accurate the GPH numbers are though?
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #17
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Sorry Inferno, got a good deal on the XP3 and couldnt pass it up. We'll see what happens when I get the canister for the 84G. I have to say though, if the GPH are accurate on the eheim and the Rena, the Rena has much higher flow rate for the same size rated tank. Who knows how accurate the GPH numbers are though?
Good luck with it, let me know how it works, I'm curious. Remember filtration isn't about gallons per hour but about how much water actually flows through the media. I had that same dilemma when I bought my 2215 15 or 16 yrs ago, the gph was lower then everyone else but filtered better, Back then I tried several canisters returned them all and bought the 2215.
Anywho I've read some good things about the XP3 you'll probably love it.

Signing off "EHEIM FAN FOR LIFE"
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #18
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Spoonman
I saw the Filstar for the first time today and IMO it seems to be a bit on the delicate side. Treat it with care.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #19
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Not at all "delicate" man. I have a few that have been moved multiple times and in service doing great for years now.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:41 PM   #20
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Not at all "delicate" man. I have a few that have been moved multiple times and in service doing great for years now.
Did not mean to offend anyone man, It's my own observation and compared to the Eheim (Which I compare all canisters too) It is not built as well. I did not call it a piece of junk or the like and like I said in my previous post I've read good reviews on that canister, I am by no means bashing it. If you really want to get an understanding of where I'm coming from compare the Eheim to the Filstar at the store, the fit, finish and all supplied equipment with the Eheim is top notch/ a cut above the rest and yes they make you pay for it too.
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